Jamie Johnson is a photographer who works strictly with vintage cameras and film in an attempt to reverse what he perceives as a trend in which “photography is losing its artistic vision and beauty”. Today, we bring you a series of his black and white photographs. Images that have documented the everyday life of an Irish Traveller family.
Irish Travellers are an ethnic group living in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Primarily English-speaking, some of them also speak the Shelta language. Their origin and history are disputed. Although, they are considered similar to the Roma people of Continental Europe in many aspects of their lifestyle, culture and mentality.
Just like the Roma people, Irish Travellers face huge prejudice and discrimination wherever they settle. Consequently, access to education, health and the job market is more challenging. People’s ignorance of their culture and way of life deepens the gap between the two communities. These photos serve to offer a glimpse into their traditional lifestyle.
The photographer was granted unrestricted access to the activities of this family of Irish Travellers at the Ballinasloe Horse Fair and Festival in October 2016
Jamie explained that the community’s pride in their faith and family life is very palpable
It is estimated that more than 30,000 Travellers live on the Irish Isle with another 15,000 living in other parts of Great Britain
The photo series documents the lifestyle of Irish Travellers, such as young girls smoking fake cigarettes, boys posing with fake guns and babies being bathed in washing-up bowls
Fairs across Britain are common meeting spots where Irish Travellers and Romani people from the continent meet to trade horses and puppies
Events such as the Ballinasloe Horse Fair and Festival in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland are a way for families to find Traveller husbands for their daughters to carry on their traditions.
“They hope to find good husbands for their daughters in their community to carry on travellers traditions”, Jamie told the Mail Online.
“This warm generous family-orientated community seeks good lives for their children, and has great hopes for their community. They seek equality and hope to rid of for the next generation the extreme prejudice that has faced theirs.”